Is it safe to use Google Drive as the one and only place to keep your critical personal data.

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By Roland Stephen
Mars invaders

It relies upon your use case - and on what your identity is. Are you just a “normal” (whatever that means…) person with a few gigabytes of docs & pics? Or on the other hand would you say you are a business running person?

For my corporate customers, I execute various tailored methodologies. Most are a combination of physical backup (on and off site) and paid cloud backup companies, such as Crashplan and Carbonite.

My own answer, for my own information? A lot less difficult. I generally use Google Drive. Not really for everything obviously, I do have a Plex film server, with FAR an excessive amount of information on it to pay Google to store for me. I likewise have a couple outer drives laying around with different music assortments I haven't gotten around to curating into my assortment… and so on, and so on… There is a ton of "my" information that I try not to put on the cloud - on the grounds that it would not be difficult to supplant.

My personal solution, for my personal data? Its much simpler. I mostly just use Google Drive. Not for everything of course, I also have a couple external drives laying around with various music collections I haven’t gotten around to curating into my collection…and so on, and so on. There is a ton of “my data” that I don’t bother to put on the cloud - because it would not be hard to replace.

But for critical irreplaceable stuff? Files that I would be devastated if I lost them? Yeah. All that stuff is just on Google Drive. Nowhere else.

When it comes to data & backup, every geek on the planet will quote chapter 1, verse 1. “NEVER have a single point of failure.” I agree with that. Fully! Many geeks will also tell you that Google is a single point of failure. Um… not so much.

The thing is… the probability of Google losing your data is roughly equivalent to the chances that Invaders from Mars will land and eat your brains.

Except that a single point of failure still exists. That point is your Google account. There are endless opportunities to lose a free “Gmail” account. Get hacked. “Forget” your password. Share your account with your girlfriend, then have a nasty break up and she wants revenge. Whatever… Life is messy. Shit happens!
Google saves (and backs up!) your most trivial insignificant data, much better than banks secure their cash. Their strategies are more complex than anything most expert nerds dream of implementing. Google has state of the art data centers all around the planet.
Losing your free "gmail" account - you lost that data forever until the end of time. Google won't help you. If you can't use the automated recovery process in, you are in a bad way, blued, and inked.

Of course, the other thing is… losing your account totally can be forestalled.

2-Step Verification. Assuming you carefully follow and adhere to the guidelines, get your work done, set this up accurately… particularly the part about printing and saving your recovery codes… your account will be recovered simply and its as simple that you won't lose your Google account.